Loneliness in the Workplace: Construct definition and scale development

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Journal Article
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University of Canterbury. College of Arts.
University of Canterbury. Management.
University of Canterbury. Psychology.
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Wright, S.L.
Burt, C.D.B.
Strongman, K.T.

This paper describes the conceptual development and validation of a scale to measure loneliness in the workplace. Despite extensive literature on loneliness and the measurement of the phenomenon, the issue of assessing worker loneliness is not well researched. A 16-item self-report loneliness scale was developed for intended use in the workplace. Two separate studies were conducted to examine the reliability and validity of the scale . For each study participants were recruited by email and completed the scale via a website published on the internet. The first study included 514 employees, while the second study included 363 employees , each representing various occupational groups. Exploratory factor analysis using oblique rotation generated two factors representing emotional deprivation at work and social companionship at work. On a subsequent sample , confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the two-factor structure by demonstrating a significantly better fit than a single-factor structure. The results indicate the scale has good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Preliminary evidence for convergent and discriminant validity is also provided.

Wright, S.L., Burt, C.D.B., Strongman, K.T. (2006) Loneliness in the Workplace: Construct definition and scale development. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 35(2), pp. 59-68.
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